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Epic Encounters - Essay Example

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In this regard, there are some iconic images discussed by McAlister which are instantly recognizable in the context of the present situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The picture of women wearing burqas in Afghanistan, the image of Osama bin Ladin on TV and the hooded and wired prisoner in Abu Ghuraib (McAlister, 2001). The immediate connection which one can make with these images is linking the Middle East to barbarism and brutality.
These images show that the burqa is a tool to subjugate women rather than a cultural implement which is used in countries like India and Pakistan as well. It shows that Osama bin Ladin is the single monster which we need to catch since as soon as he is caught, the world will have complete peace and every American will have two cars in his/her driveway. Of course, it can be considered an exaggeration but the media and the image created by the media certainly supports the concept of the Middle East being a barbaric place to be.
While thinking about this idea I was clearly reminded of the Disney Animated Movie, Aladdin, which has an opening song titled Arabian Nights. The lyrics of the song as they were originally created and sung in the first edition of the film were, “Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place/ Where the caravan camels roam/ Where they cut off your ear/ If they don't like your face/ It's barbaric, but hey, it's home (Lyrics007.com, 2007, pg. 1)”. Considering that Princess Jasmine was hardly wearing a burqa and Aladdin was a massive hit,

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it is unlikely that the children of that time got a reasonable image of the Middle East.
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Summary

Epic Encounters is an interesting read since it shows how the oft discussed American ‘interests’ in the Middle East have been created as an idea for the American public. At the same time, there are some fascinating discussions on images which have been fed to the America…
Author : labadieadolph
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